Communities blame BMA for dirty river

Communities blame BMA for dirty river

Representatives of Chao Phraya riverside communities have denied they are the cause of water pollution and called on the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) to deploy more staff to collect rubbish along the river.

The representatives on Monday discussed their daily practices and how they took part in taking care of the Chao Phraya River during a seminar at the BMA held by the management committee of Rattanakosin Island.

River preservation agencies and communities living along the riverside were invited to exchange views and discuss solutions to pollution in the river.

Worachai Pilasrom, from the Wat Kanlayanamit community, said his society has campaigned for river preservation in nearby communities and blamed BMA staff for not strictly taking care of the river and canals in the city.

Sombat Thongsawas, from Prok-Arun community located behind Wat Arun temple, said the river in front of the temple is clean while the water gets darker the nearer one gets to his community. However, he blamed the pier operators rather than his community.

"The waste gathering in the water around our community is because of pier operators who hardly ever open the watergates to drain the out the litter," he said.

Suthathip Wongsathitkit, of Wat Sam Phraya community, said that the river may bring the waste from other provinces so more staff should be deployed to collect patrol the stretch of water and clean it up when necessary.

At present, the BMA only sends refuse collection officers before big events such as the royal barge ceremony, which is insufficient for the amount of waste that collects, he said.

Paitoon Khamparat, a member of Bangkok Metropolitan Council and president of the committee, said after surveying the controversial areas, he believed that sustainable solutions can be implemented by both the civil and private sector. It was the purpose of the meeting to see which partnerships could work best, he added.

"The BMA has done its best to collect the waste but 17 tonnes of waste a day is beyond our control and it would be better if people dealt with rubbish appropriately in the first place," according to Mr Paitoon.

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